Two Index.dat files won't show in Explorer

By phkhgh
Apr 23, 2007
  1. I used CCleaner to clean cookies & index.dat files from IE7. Rebooted couple of times, opened /closed IE a few times (loading websites each time). All other index.dat files stored under other accts were all cleaned at the same time - no issues w/ them.

    Two index.dat files and subfolders in my main acct (only that one) don't show up in explorer like they should. Other accounts still display properly, but don't all have an index.dat in all the 'normal' folders - no internet activity under them.

    You say, "That's great! Tell me how to get rid of the *%!#@$* index.dat files for good!" Well...they're still there, they just don't show up in Explorer, for that one acct. Who cares? Cause I know they're there, but can't see them. We have to use IE to log into certain sites, like work. I want to be able to delete the files (sometimes), and verify that.

    Apps like Kaspersky AV CAN see the index.dat files in both problem folders - the History.IE5 and Content.IE5 subfolders, when I scan the folders.

    Free Commander file mgr can see them - sort of. It can NOT see the History.IE5\index.dat, but CAN see content.IE5\index.dat - but only shows it in the right pane, not in the folder tree.

    I booted in safe mode under another administrator acct. At first I couldn't see the MIA folders / files in the problem acct. I deleted the problem folders & files, then restored them, & then I could see everything in Explorer. Logged back in under the main (problem) acct in normal mode, then could NOT see the 2 problem folders & files normally in Explorer.

    Any suggestions on the easiest way to get the 2 folders & files back to normal display? Hmmm... that sounds pretty odd - "HELP! My index.dat files are gone - help me get them back.":eek: Well, except that they're not really gone.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Uninstall IE7 at Add and Remove Programs in the control panel, then download and reinstall. This will fix the problem.
  3. phkhgh

    phkhgh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70


    Don't know if uninstall / reinstall IE 7 would fix it - maybe.

    Apparently, when CCleaner does it's thing, it finds (and erases) numerous desktop.ini files (if you allow it to clean "all"). When Windows recreates the deleted files (index.dat, desktop.ini), as it does, it writes the desktop.ini to do what MS always intended, to hide the index.dat files. Only certain folders that contain index.dat files are "super-hidden."

    For explorer, I got around this by logging in under another admin acct in XP, and editing the desktop.ini files in C:\ documents and settings\ <acct name>\ local settings\ history\, and also in C:\ ...\ local settings\ temporary internet files\.

    These desktop.ini only have 1 or 3 lines in them. I've read (and it seems to work) that if you delete everything EXCEPT the first line, which in XP should be: "[.ShellClassInfo]", in brackets - no quotes, and save it, that makes the subfolders visible (it does).

    The story is that leaving the first line in destop.ini fools windows into not creating a new one. You can also try setting the attrib to "read only" when editing them. You may have to edit the destop.ini's in each of the sub folders.

    Also, I've read many (most?, all?) of the cleaner utils don't securely erase many of the files that require a reboot - they just delete them. If that's a concern (that they could be recovered), login under another admin acct, then erase those files from your "regular" acct. Perhaps using an on-demand erasing util like Eraser or other. For me, it will then (securely) erase the index.dat (and probably any other protected file) right then.
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